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Holiday cheer abounds Friday

WORTHINGTON -- A couple of other holiday happenings are planned Friday on the local scene.

At Sanford Worthington Medical Center, a Holiday Dazzle Open House will be presented in two sessions, 4 and 5 p.m., by SWMC's dietary manager Chris Schmitz.

"It's new to the community, but she's been putting it on for our staff for more than five years," explained Holly Sieve, SWMC marketing coordinator. "She decided she wanted to do it for the community, and The Center for Active Generations was interested in partnering with us for a program like this. The Worthington Health Care Foundation is also helping to sponsor it."

While it's billed as an open house, the event is really a forum during which Schmitz will share holiday entertaining and decorating ideas.

"You'll come and you'll sit, and she'll talk about each of the items that she's made," described Sieve, "and she'll just tell a little about how hard or easy it is to make, give helpful tips about preparing the dishes. She starts with appetizers and goes up to desserts, a couple of each, and you'll be able to taste them. Then she does a bunch of different table decorations, talks about how to make some of them, how you put some of them together. They're easy table decoration tips, things you'll want to go home and do."

Sieve shared that she has implemented some of Schmitz's ideas from previous years at her own home.

"I made a gumdrop tree from the first year I went. You just hot glue gumdrops on Styrofoam trees. I still have it. Every year, I put them away in a plastic bag. A few gumdrops will fall off, but I'll just pull out the hot glue gun and glue them back on."

RSVPs are appreciated for planning purposes, but not required. Call 372-3305.

On Friday evening, Memorial Auditorium Performing Arts Center will host a return performance of SimpleGifts with Bill McLaughlin.

SimpleGifts is a six-piece ensemble led by Bill McLaughlin, an award-winning musician whose career was derailed by a diagnosis of focal dystonia, a neuro-muscular disorder.

McLaughlin regained his career by relearning his instrument left-handed, and his comeback was captured in a documentary, "Changing Keys," which aired in 2010 on PBS.

This year's SimpleGifts program, "A Small Town Christmas" features arranged, acoustic instrumental and vocal music for the Christmas season.

The performance will be gin at 7:30 p.m. Friday at Memorial Auditorium. For ticket information, phone 376-9101 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Beth Rickers

Beth Rickers is the veteran in the newspaper staff with 25 years as the Daily Globe's Features Editor. Interests include cooking, traveling and beer tasting and making with her home-brewing husband, Bryan. She writes an Area Voices blog called Lagniappe, which is a Creole term that means "a little something extra." It can be found at  

(507) 376-7327